Digital Marketing during Coronavirus
Businesses are going to struggle for a while
Digital Marketing during Coronavirus slows down fast as the numbers have dropped in China, businesses are going to struggle for well over a year because they will have to make up for their losses.
For example, in China the virus caused retail sales to drop by 20.5% and the unemployment rate jumped to 6.2 in February.
When companies like Apple shut down their stores to help reduce the spread, it means less income and less profit. Sure they are able to pay their employees during their temporary shutdown, but not all companies have their bank balance and most won’t be able to do the same.
The ports are also empty and the first rounds of layoffs have already started.
It’s estimated that in total COVID-19 will cost the global economy $2.7 trillion.
And not only are people losing money but they are losing traffic and conversions.
Organic traffic is down in most industries
As I mentioned above, we work with hundreds of clients in different industries through my agency. On top of that, we also have tons of data because of Ubersuggest.
Before I dive into the data, note that we didn’t focus on any one single country, we decide to look at the traffic stats from a global perspective. We also didn’t include data from sites with less than 5000 visitors a month as they tend to have drastic swings from a percentage perspective even when there are no global issues or algorithm updates.
We also don’t have data on every single industry, for example, we don’t really work with many restaurants nor do we purchase data for that category as local restaurants usually don’t have the biggest marketing budgets. We have data on most of the major ones, but again not all.
Now, from an SEO standpoint, last week we saw huge drops in organic traffic for most industries we are tracking. Just look at the chart below (compares last week to the previous week).
By now you have heard about the Coronavirus.
Guidelines for strategic planning success
Online marketing to benefit
Keap’s strategic planning process for SMBs includes three key elements—a detailed walkthrough of the planning process, a roadmap for the planning process, and a worksheet of tactical next steps to facilitate your plan.
Per Keap, “In this strategic planning kit, we’re going to look at the strategic planning process Keap employed to grow the company over 10 years into a $100 million enterprise. By following these guidelines, your business can do more than just survive—you can thrive.”
In this post, we’ll summarize some key points from Keap’s 17-page guide which is available for download from ClickZ. The eBook breaks down the planning process into five steps which we’ve elaborated on below.
Step one: Identify the purpose of your business
It’s important to clarify the vision for your business. This is a process that should involve everyone in your company. Keap lists three elements that a business vision should have, per Jim Collins’ book, Business Entrepreneurship. These are: purpose, values, and mission.
Keap writes, “Every employee at Keap knows our company vision from the start. We also reference our purpose in conversations, meetings, email exchanges, and more, so it shapes our work each day.”
Step two: Analyze results for continuous improvement
Keap uses a process they call SWOT+ when looping employees into the planning process. As most businesses know, SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The + is a reference to their inclusive, collaborative approach to planning.
A SWOT+ approach ensures:
- Everyone’s voice is heard—This is a celebration of successes, a chance to learn from mistakes, and an opportunity to move forward as a team.
- Perspective—A company facilitator ensures that, although everyone’s POV is heard, planning is viewed from the company’s perspective.
- Participation—During the planning process, everyone’s input is important, and thus everyone should be encouraged to speak up and participate.
The eBook contains a detailed outline of Keap’s full SWOT+ process, a four-step approach that begins with listing accomplishments and ends with addressing strategic issues to tackle in the coming year.
Step three: Understand how strategy guides planning
Keap emphasizes the importance of understanding all the resources available within your business when formulating a strategic plan. The starting point for this process involves performing an inventory of assets that focuses on 3 to 5 core assets of your company.
Keap writes, “While it’s true that resources can be scarce for many small businesses, annual planning is really about making the best use of all your resources so that nothing is forgotten or ignored. This kind of strategy will help put you ahead of your competitors.”
The strategy planning approach will help your company connect its overall vision to its daily operations. The process itself can be summarized in the following outline (each element is elaborated on in the eBook):
- Strengths to leverage
- Strengths to develop
- Annual priorities
- Quarterly priorities or tactical operating priorities
- SMART objectives (SMART = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound)
Step four: Establish a meeting rhythm for success
Once strategic planning is complete, the focus should be on achieving your plan’s vision. Keap recommends scheduling “a steady rhythm of productive meetings” to assess and learn from both your successes and failures.
Since all businesses are different, there is no specific meeting schedule that everyone needs to follow, but consistency is key. Identify the meeting rhythm that works best for your business, then stick to it. Meetings should be structured so that there are clear deliverables and priorities established regardless of how frequently you meet.
Keap recommends devoting at least two full days each year to create your annual priorities, one full day per quarter for Quarterly TOP and a half day each month to assess SMART objectives for Digital Marketing during Coronavirus.
“Work with your team to identify a cadence of ongoing meetings that will support your defined goals and objectives. The sooner you get your business into a consistent planning and execution rhythm, the sooner you’ll be able to delegate more responsibility to your team,” writes Keap.
Step five: Involve and motivate your employees
The final step in your strategic planning process focuses on employee involvement. Involving your team ensures that your strategic plan is relevant to the day-to-day activities of all team members.
Per Keap, “Daily relevance is also a key for employees who aren’t in leadership roles. They need to be aware of how their job affects the mission of your business. Each person matters. People need to know why and how their daily activities support the mission.”
Keap employees a methodology they call “Big 3”—a reference to the three primary responsibilities associated with each employee’s role. The Big 3 can be a moving target for some employees, changing quarterly. For others, the Big 3 may remain the same for a year or longer.
The value of establishing and monitoring the Big 3 for each employee is that it helps employees understand how their performance impacts the company, instilling confidence and ensuring that each employee understands their role in the company’s overall mission.
Some Ideas for Digital Marketing during Coronavirus
Perform a Content Audit – Think about your company website. This serves as the home base for your business and provides all the key information that a customer will see the moment that they search for you online. So, does your page content best reflect who you are, and the services you offer? In other words, are there products or services you provide that you don’t have page content for?
Now is the time to address that by creating new content. You can also double-check to make sure that your images look sharp, the links on your website are operational, and that the current content makes sense. Read through your website with a critical eye, and make sure that you make edits as you see fit.
Keep Blogging – This is still one of the best ways to create search engine friendly content. I always tell my clients that it helps you to cast a wider net. There are plenty of industry phrases that won’t come up naturally in the content of your web pages.
For instance, if your company manufactures medical devices, you may not write about the health conditions they can be applied to, or the best ways to use the product. A blog can help you educate your customers. It can help position you when people are searching for services within your industry.
Keep blogging. Keep producing quality content. Past all the regular reasons, the world needs interesting content right now.
Try Something New – Now is the perfect chance to try and reach people in a new way. If you’ve been waiting to open a new social media channel, start a podcast, or otherwise find a new way to reach your customers, this is the time to do it. Experiment and find your groove in new ways.
Become a Digital Connector – Just because many of us are working from home, and meeting in person isn’t encouraged, doesn’t mean you have to be a hermit. Now is a good time to hop on the phone, try out Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Skype, or try any other form of digital communication.Watch What You Say – We have to watch our messaging in a time like this. Right before they canceled the NCAA tournament I found a “March Fever” ad in my local newspaper. Even though it was arguably early in the turn of events, it didn’t sound good. It’s probably time for marketers of all stripes to retire the phrase “going viral” as a way to talk about the most popular content.
Digital Marketing during Coronavirus – This Isn’t Forever
What we’re experiencing now, it’s temporary. It may not be easy in many cases, but we’ll come out the other end stronger. Now is the time to work on marketing in the age of coronavirus. It’s the perfect time to strategically build your business and focus on the strength of your connections. If you have questions or would like to talk about what that means in your particular instance, contact me today!
Contact us for free consultation Digital Marketing during Coronavirus crises.